27 Jul '12
Seven Dangers of leading alone rather than through team
Lone ranger leadership is dangerous territory and there are plenty of examples that bear witness to it. Leading through team is far healthier, more effective and can contribute to long term effectiveness.
Here are some advantages of leading through team rather than by ourselves.
1. We are only as good as the skills we possess. When we combine our skills with those of others we multiply the possible outcomes, enjoy robust dialogue and are not limited by our own skills and gifting. Leading alone has built in limitations.
2. We are never as good as we think we are but left to our own we over inflate our effectiveness and under estimate our weaknesses. Leading through team - if it is a healthy team - protects us by compensating for our inflation and weaknesses.
3. We can only handle a certain span of relationships. Thus when we lead alone we inevitably plateau whatever we are leading at some point. Leading through team, on the other hand is immediately scaleable if done right.
4. We hear and believe what we want to. All of us have a bias about what we hear and believe. None of us are unbiased in our judgements and decisions. Having a team around us that gives us another perspective and tells us the truth when we need to hear it can save us a great deal of dumb tax.
5. Leadership isolation eventually leads to a bad place. Lone ranger leaders easily become isolated and autonomous, especially if they see success. It is a dangerous place because isolation often leads to actions that we would not engage in when we are in community. We were made for community not isolation.
6. Alone breeds pride while team breeds humility. Leading through team tempers our natural tendency to think too greatly of ourselves as it is by definition no longer about me but about us. Leaders who lead through team share the success with the team - in fact the best ones credit the team! Lone ranger leaders have no one to share the success with (they think) and often take the credit.
7. Leading alone is lonely while leading through team is collegial and offers the support of a group. Leadership is lonely enough. Trying to do it without others is lonelier still. Healthy individuals enjoy the benefit of relationships in the journey.
If you lead, don't do it alone. Form a healthy team. You will be a better leader, a better individual and your organization will thank you.